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Sossusvlei Sossusvlei Namibia namib desert oldest desert in the world sossusvlei dunes
sand dunes desert adventures sesriem Dead Vlei Naravlei
namibia dune 45 namib dead trees in the desert desert tours
desert animals desert landscapes dunes namibian desert Tsauchab river
desert trees huge clay pan Hot Air balloons camping namibia, africa



The Sossusvlei, Namibia's famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan, enclosed by giant sand dunes. Some of the spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 300 metres, the highest in the world. Only after a heavy rainfall, which is a rare event in this area, does the vlei fill with water. As the clay layers hardly allow any water infiltration, a turquoise lake will remain for quite some time.

The dunes of the Namib Desert have developed over a period of many millions of years. It is thought that the vast quantities of sand were deposited into the Atlantic Ocean by the Orange River. This material was subsequently moved northwards by the Benguela current to be dumped back onto the land by the surf.

The coastal dunes developed as a result of this and were shifted further and further inland by the wind. Wind continuously reshapes the patterns of the huge dunes of the Namib Desert. It timelessly forces the grains of sand on the flat windward slope upwards to the crest of the dune. Here they fall down in the wind shade. The leeward slope is therefore always considerably steeper than the windward side.

The word 'Sossus' is from Bushman and Nama origin and it means: 'A gathering place of water'. The word Vlei is Afrikaans meaning a shallow area that becomes flooded during the rainy season.

The magnificient, ancient dunes of the Namib Desert offer the ideal desert landscape. Reduced to rusty red sand and clear blue skies Sossusvlei is one of the world’s most popular photographic destinations. This is where to tallest sand dunes in the world resides, and offers amazing colourful and beautiful photographic opportunities. Take a closer look at wild life, and be astonished by how numerous creatures survive in the harsh and dry Namib desert.

The complete quiet and tranquility of the desert have an undeniable attraction making Sossusvlei one of Namibia’s top tourist destinations. The towering red sand and endless sky are a perfect image that every traveller should experience in his/her life.

If you would prefer to camp in the desert, Sossusvlei is your dream destination. It would expose you to nature's sound from the wilderness all night long. Apart from camping lovers, world class lodges with top notch facilities are also set to make your trip to Sossusvlei cosy and relaxing. You will also enjoy stunning views over the Naukluft Mountains and the Namib Desert.

You wil need to travel with a 4x4 to sites like Sossusvlei pan, Naravlei, and Dead Vlei which are about 5km to the west along a soft sand track. If you are not driving a 4x4 vehicle, you are adviced to hire a regular shuttle service. There is a 4x4 parking area where you can get some shade under some of the enormous camel thorn trees. The trees provide shade to tourists after climbing the magnificent sand dunes, and the area has a lot of these tree's. The Camel thorn tree is considered one of the country's most common, found all over Namibia including the Namib Desert.

Following rains in the nearby Naukluft Mountains, the water run's into the Tsauchab River and begins its journey with a relatively high volume rate of flow which can wash deep cuts through the C19 road.

Among the desert plants, you will see a couple of Nara plants. These plants have no leaves and bear a round spiky fruit once a year. It serves as a food source for some birds, Oryx, Hyenas, Jackals, Porcupines and also humans.

Activities at Sossusvlei include excursions to Sossusvlei Dunes, Hot Air balloons at Sesriem, Guided nature drives, guided nature walks as well as a visit the Namib-Naukluft Park. Sossusvlei is situated within the Namib Desert which itself is part of the Namib Naukluft National Park that stretches 400km south of Walvis Bay and is sandwiched between the west coast and the escarpment that runs parallel more than 100km inland.


  namib desert in Namibia   Sossusvlei Namibia  

Other Namibian Destinations:

Etosha National Park   Sossusvlei
A visit to the Etosha National Park is one of the highlights of travelling Namibia. Etosha, which was...more   The Sossusvlei, Namibia's famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan, enclosed by...more
Fish River Canyon   Spitzkoppe
The Fish River canyon, situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River, is one of the most impressive...more   The Spitzkoppe is a group of rounded granite mountains situated north-west of Usakos, en route to Swakopmund. A favourite destination for... more
Ai-Ais / Fish River   Swakopmund
Thermal water rich in sulphates and fluorides and with a temperature of approx 60°C gushes forth from the...more   Swakopmund was of major importance as a harbour during the German colonial era even though the...more
Caprivi   Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
The Caprivi is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Namibia, about 400 kilometres long. Germany exchanged the area...more   The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is located between the borders of Namibia and Botswana. The park covers an area of...more
Aus / Wild Horses   Namib Naukluft Park
The little place of Aus lies some 120 kilometres east of Lüderitz on the National Road B4, which connects...more   The Namib-Naukluft Park is Namibia's largest nature reserve, about 50.000 sqkms in size. It includes a 100 to150 km broad...more
Luderitz   Waterberg Plateau Park
Luderitz is a slighty sleepy and maybe also bizarre place, which forms the basis of its appeal. The founding...more   The Waterberg Plateau east of Otjiwarongo towers over the surrounding plains, being about 200 metres higher. The...more
Kolmanskop   Mariental / Hardap Dam
In 1908, Luderitz was plunged into diamond fever. People rushed into the Namib Desert hoping to make an...more   Mariental lies 260 kilometres south of Windhoek on the B1. The little town provides for the...more
Maltahöhe   Keetmanshoop
Maltahöhe lies 110 kilometres west of Mariental atthe end of the tarred part of the C19 Pad, quite easily...more   Keetmanshoop lies on the B4, 500 km south of Windhoek. It is the traffic junction and the economic centre for the...more
Located in the far north-west, Kaokoland (also called Kaokoveld) is one of the relatively untouched regions in Namibia. The...more    


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